32 user 21 critic

Wild Boys of the Road (1933)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama | 7 October 1933 (USA)
In the depths of the Depression, two teenage boys strike out on their own in order to help their struggling parents and find life on the road tougher than expected.



(screenplay), (story "Desperate Youth") (as Daniel Ahearn)

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Complete credited cast:
Edwin Phillips ...
Dorothy Coonan Wellman ...
Sally (as Dorothy Coonan)
Arthur Hohl ...
Dr. Heckel
Ann Hovey ...
Aunt Carrie
Mr. James Smith
Mrs. Smith
Judge R.H. White
Captain of Detectives


At the bottom of the depression, Tom's mother has been out of work for months when Ed's father loses his job. Not to burden their parents, the two high school sophomore's decide to hop the freights and look for work. Wherever they go, there are many other kids just like them, so Tom, Ed and now Sally stick together. They camp in places like 'Sewer City' as long as they can until the local authorities run them off. They travel all over the mid west and when they get to New York, Ed thinks that they may finally find work. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Girls living like boys! Boys living like savages!


Adventure | Drama



Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 October 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Az utca vad kölykei  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The movie shown in the movie theater scene (about an hour into the film) is another Warner Bros. release, Footlight Parade (1933). See more »


Sally pandhandles by tap dancing to "42nd Street" in expensive (for her) tap shoes. See more »


Edward 'Eddie' Smith: Go ahead! Put me in a cell. Lock me up! I'm sick of being hungry and cold. Sick of freight trains. Jail can't be any worse than the street. So give it to me!
See more »


References Footlight Parade (1933) See more »


High Life
Music by Harry Warren
Played when the boys are siphoning the gasoline
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User Reviews

Vivid social drama from Warner Bros...fine performances...
17 October 2004 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

FRANKIE DARRO and EDWIN PHILLIPS play depression-era buddies with great chemistry and natural vigor and charm. They are the key ingredients in keeping the story firmly in the realm of believability throughout. An intriguing slice of life for depression weary audiences--one has to wonder what the initial effect was upon release in 1933.

Whatever, it all plays out extremely well except for what appears to be a tacked on ending that gives a positive spin to the tale.

Grant Mitchell does fine work as Darro's depressed out-of-work father who shows his love and respect for his son when Darro sells his jalopy (for a mere $22!!) to help out the family. Interesting to note Ward Bond in an unsavory role as a railroad official who is brutally punished after taking advantage of a stowaway girl.

All of the vivid railroad scenes have been expertly photographed and the incident involving the unfortunate Phillips and his leg accident is powerfully depicted. William Wellman's direction keeps things moving swiftly and satisfactorily for a tense and gripping little social drama told in little more than an hour.

Highly recommended, especially because it's a product of its time and reveals all of the societal ills rampant in the early '30s.

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